A new range of classic novels, grammatically updated for 2014

LONDON: Penguin are pleased to announce the launch of imprint Penguin Now!, a ground-breaking new series re-packaging classic novels for a new generation.

For the first time, iconic books such as Albert Camus's The Stranger, Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, and Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment will remove all the instances of full stops in the original text, and replace them with exclamation marks.

"Mother died today! Or yesterday, I don't know!"

The Stranger - Albert Camus


This far-reaching grammatical update is the first of its kind, and Penguin editors hope that the move will see the books reach a wider audience.

Penguin editor Mae Dappersonne: "Today's generation have become used to the immediacy provided by smartphones, Netflix and game consoles. In order for older literature to remain relevant we felt it was important to break free of some of the more outmoded grammatical constraints of the past and publish something that today's readers can actually relate to.

"By using exclamation marks over and over again, the reader is reminded of the urgency of the story at the end of every sentence. It's a great way of preventing potentially inattentive readers from tuning out, putting the book down and wandering off, without altering the original text too much.

"Also, exclamation marks are intrinsically just plain fun, adding an air of frivolity and serving to soften the edges of some of the heady subject matter to be found in a great deal of classic literature. We think it'll make them more palatable for people who want to read these great books without getting depressed."

Existing exclamation points in the text are now be supplemented with two extra ones, for added emphasis, and while question marks are for now to remain unchanged, Dappersonne claims that, should Penguin Now! prove a success, the team are looking into replacing the traditional ? with a more contemporary :/


Some extracts from the Penguin Now! series

The Stranger, Albert Camus
"Mother died today! Or yesterday, I don't know!"

1984, George Orwell
"One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution! One makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship! The object of persecution is persecution! The object of torture is torture! The object of power is power! Now you begin to understand me!"

Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
"Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart! The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth!"

Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy
"But no one came! Because no one ever does!"


The Penguin Now! list is also set to be supplemented by a range of corresponding audiobooks, read by Brian Blessed.